web design for real estate

Not all websites are created equal. Different websites require different key elements, as nearly every designer and SEO will agree. When you are crafting a website that sells a tangible product such as a software package, the way in which you approach it will be vastly different from selling holiday lighting.

The same thing holds true for website design for real estate. When you are designing a website for real estate, the elements that you add are going to be different from those that you add for another site. There are several elements that are key to the success of a website designed to sell real estate. Those elements must be in place for your site to convert traffic efficiently and to take the traffic you draw in and make it into customers.

Your site visitors need to be able to easily navigate the site to find precisely what they are looking for when they visit. Ideally they will be able to quickly and easily find the means to contact you to ask you any questions they may have about your company or about selling or buying a home.

If the navigation on your site is difficult to use or circuitous in nature, you’re making it more difficult for your customers to find the listings they need, and you’re sending them off to another website. To avoid losing your customers to your competition, here are a few essential elements of a real estate website that are necessary for you to draw in the customers you want and keep them on your website.

Your website needs to look good. It needs an impressive design and a good speedy load.

That sounds like a statement of the obvious, but it would surprise you how many sites are so full of bells and whistles that they look good but are too slow to actually use well. Your customers are basing their decisions on  whether or not to use you on your website. It is their first contact with you, so they will make up their mind instantly whether or not they trust you based on the design, the navigation, the speed and several other factors.

Does the site use colors that make it appear to be trustworthy? Does it offer information that is up to date and appears reliable in every way? Can they find a way to contact you as quickly as they want? All of the questions here are in your customers’ minds. They are looking for a way to reach you, for the information they need to search for homes and for the best real estate company to help them.

If your site doesn’t look professional, they are going to find one that does. In much the same way that they may not trust you if you came to visit them wearing dirty clothing that looked as if you had slept in it, if your site isn’t professional, clean and easy to use, your customers have no reason to trust that you take any more care with them than you have with your website.

The fact is that a real estate agent who builds his own site is the same thing as a homeowner who sells his own home. He may get the job done, but the end result may not be the best that he can get. Using a professional website designer is the best way to ensure that your real estate website is professional, fast and easy to use, and that will lead to the kind of solid conversions you need.

Your real estate website needs an IDX so you can get the real estate leads.

The primary reason your customers are visiting your site is so they can search for a new home. Your task is to make it very easy for them to do that. If you do, the site user will use the site and the offerings to his or her best advantage. WordPress offers an IDX plugin that can be used to make the search easy for you to implement and easy for your customers to search.

Use testimonials on your site. Testimonials tell the prospective customer that you’re trustworthy.

While it’s not a mandatory thing, displaying customer testimonials from past clients is a great idea to get you new customers. If customers feel you’ve done a great job for others, they are going to trust you to do that for them. Your past customers and what they have to say about you are going to be your best advertising.

Use a great About Us page.

No matter who lands on your page they want to know something about you. Telling them who you are, who works with you, what you’ve done and the kind of real estate you are responsible to buy and sell is a great way to help them get to know you. The average customer wants to read more about you and your company, and they want to understand why you are the best option for them.

Display your Contact Information prominently and frequently.

Every page should have a way to contact your company. Whether the visitor is seeing the about us page or other pages, they should be able to quickly and readily find a way to contact you and your company. If they can’t find that or it’s not displayed reasonably, the customer will typically find some way to contact your competition.

Your real estate website will shine if you have all the previously mentioned items showing on your site. Your prospective customers will know that you are able to be contacted, able to be trusted and that they can easily search your site. If all of those things are true, the chances are good that you’re going to be their real estate company of choice.

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Content CreationContent creation is one of the biggest hurdles small business owners face with their marketing strategies. Having timely content creation is critical to make sure the rest of your online marketing efforts are paying off.

Studies have shown that 61% of marketers struggle to create content because it takes too long to create. Of those, only 44% have any kind of content marketing strategy in place.

Creating a calendar and setting up a schedule a month in advance will help you avoid falling behind. It takes just a few minutes to create a calendar and plan a month’s worth of posts. Once you know what you’ll be writing about, you can work on posts in a logical order and you’ll already know what you will be writing about. That will save time in brainstorming, and you can focus on writing about what you know.

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Leadership in the Workplace

The founder and president of Top Tier Leadership in Palm Beach Gardens. She taps into four decades of global human resources experience to help transform individuals, companies, the public sector and associations into highly effective employees, executives and organizations. As one of 11 siblings, Rita draws from her life experiences, bringing an inspirational outlook and anecdotal approach to business strategies. She is a results-driven leadership coach, collaboration and team-building expert, and human resources consultant, who has developed and implemented hundreds of customized strategies for clients around the globe on such topics as leadership, ethics, personal success and organizational effectiveness, to name a few. Her publishing credits include Welcome to the WorkforceI Showed You So, and a manuscript entitled, Ethics: The Hot New ‘E’ Word.

Location: BMGcreative
5601 Powerline Road, Suite 205, Fort Lauderdale
Date: Friday, February 6, 2015
Time: 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.

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Search Engine Marketing CompanyGetting your website to the top of a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) can be a long process. It is one that requires real effort and quite often requires a professional search engine marketing company or guidance from a professional search engine consultant. Your selection of a marketing company – much like your choice of a website design company – can make or break your company’s online lead generation. Choosing wisely is imperative, but you may not be entirely sure what choosing wisely means. What criteria should you use when choosing a search engine marketing company, and how can you know that you’ve chosen well?

Promises and Pricing

You’ll find a broad array of search engine marketing companies out there. Many promise you the moon and charge the same. They may guarantee you’ll be number one, get thousands of visitors or promise other things you are looking for to grow your company. Some companies promise you bigger, better, faster, more results yet charge prices that are ridiculously low and certainly unsustainable. Can these companies really do a vast amount of good for your business? The company that charges so little is likely outsourcing your work to smaller companies in offshore areas. They may not have your best interests at heart in helping you grow.

When it comes to ranking, it is very rare that any website will immediately rank and begin to generate revenue for the site owner. Selecting a company that promises to rank your company immediately means you are choosing a company that may not be doing things ethically or in a way that will keep your site ranking well for a long time. Rapid ranking methods are very often like throwing gasoline on a fire. It flames up and burns well for a while and then typically burns out quickly.

The company that believes its time and effort on your behalf is worth far more than it benefits your company needs to be set aside. A quality search engine marketing firm is going to charge a reasonable fee that may seem a bit high. The services that they offer will be top quality, and they will add value to your company over time. Yes it takes time to add value to your business reputation with not only search engines but people as well. Nothing built fast lasts, and there is almost always a difference between cheap and quality.

Examining Portfolios

Finding the right company to help you accomplish ranking and growth means spending some time reviewing companies and doing some research. You want to find a company that understands you and is not just trying to sell you. You can tell the difference between a company that is just being pushy and one that is really interested in understanding your business and what you need to grow.

Examine the marketing company you are considering. Take into account their successes and look closely. If the company has a fairly broad spectrum of different types of companies in their portfolio and each of those sites is ranking well, you’re probably going to be in very good hands. If, on the other hand, you can’t see a portfolio or you’re not seeing reputable companies they work with, tread lightly. The types of businesses in a marketing company’s portfolio can give you an idea of the kind of work they do or can handle. Often it is hard to see the keywords or ranking in a portfolio because of the confidentiality of keywords being focused on for a company. You wouldn’t want a company to publically display what keywords you are targeting and neither do they.

Other Considerations

Look for a company that is not a flash in the pan. Companies that have been in business for under two years or have a background in another industry are probably not experienced enough and are quite likely not able to offer you the kind of service you need.

  • Since search engine marketing is all about content, ask them about their experience with content marketing and about their writers.
  • Ask them about monthly reports and insist on going over them. Typically a reliable marketing company will offer you a monthly meeting or phone call to discuss your campaign.
  • Talk to them extensively before you hire them. To a large extent, this company is a partner in your growth. They are going to be promoting or speaking for your company.
  • Make sure that you gel well and get along well enough to work as a team for your own future growth.
  • Can you actually go to their office and meet some of the staff. Sit down and see they are for real, not someone telemarketing out of their livingroom.

Hiring a good search engine marketing company can provide long term consistent growth for your company. They can take your business to areas that you have been wanting to reach or gain a stronger presence in one you are in now. Make sure that you hire the right marketing company by doing your due diligence. The business that you save may be your own.

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social-media-marketingEven if you’ve been living in an unconnected world – or under a rock – you’ve heard about social media. You know as a website owner the importance of having a presence in or on social media. You know that it’s critical to the success of your online business.

You’re just not entirely sure why.

The buzz the last several years has been all about social media. Every small business owner has probably asked the question “why is it important?”

The answers that you get will vary as widely as SEO providers that you ask. Most of them present vague responses that don’t tell you much that you didn’t already know. “You need to interact.” or “it’s important to be visible.”

You know that. We all know that. The question is why? What is a social media site and what does it mean to you?

Social media sites include such sites and services as Google +1, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and sites like Instagram and others. As you might expect, your use of the “big Five” in social media is going to net you more traffic and more notice. It will undoubtedly help you to rank better.

What’s the Skinny on Social Media?

Social media is not about connections or trends or interaction. Those things matter in business, but only so far as they play into how you are ranking, how you are selling and how your business is growing. The interaction and the social signals are helping to provide your growth. Social media–to pin it down–is about better ranking leading to better sales and better profits.

Google sees those retweets and the likes and the plus+1s as a vote for your site, in much the same way that the old inbound link was seen as a vote for your site or your product in traditional SEO.

That traditional SEO, while necessary, is getting a lot more difficult to accomplish. Social SEO is a little easier and may actually net you just as much good from it as traditional SEO.

Social media is nothing more than another measurable facet of SEO. It is a means to get your site more visibility, more ranking and more conversions. You’re probably reading about social signals, but what makes them important to you and your business, how can they help you and why should you spend your time getting some?

What are Social Signals?

In the old days, a ranking method was the inbound link to your site. While those still hold some minor importance, the fact is that their clout has gone the way of the dinosaur.

Today, it’s all about who’s talking about you on social media. Google – and to a smaller extent the other search engines, see your social media interaction, the mention of your site, your url or your business as a vote for you and your company. The more that you’re talked about in social media, the more clout they perceive you to have and the more your site is boosted.

It’s not all about how many times you’re seen in social media, although to some extent that matters too since they aren’t going to be talking about you if you’re not visible, it’s more about other people discussing your company.

Those social signals, those recommendations for your company and your products and services are perceived to be a “vote” as it were, for the things that you have to offer. That’s what a social signal is.

Why Should you Care About Social Signals in your Business?

Whether you’re a large or small business, social signals matter to you. What makes them important? In fact, in the long haul, the reason that you care about social signals is for the traffic and the notice that they can give to your website and the boost they can give to your business. Google is noticing. That means you need to be noticing too and doing so in a big way.

Your social media SEO is unique from traditional SEO. Social signals involve something more than a mere algorithm that you need to impress, though they do play into that algorithm. You have to impress real people – get them to like and to tweet and to pin your content and your products and/or services.

That means creating great content and sending it out to the users on your social media. That’s where social signals begin. How do you know if they are working?

How Can You Monitor Social Signals?

Getting good quality traffic to your website is imperative. How do you track your social signals and make sure that they are doing what you want them to accomplish? If you have various social media accounts that you are using, you are probably getting social signals out there. If your business pages are getting “Likes” or “retweets” or pins then there’s no doubt that you are already creating social signals. The question is how do you track them to prove what they are or are not doing? If you’re using Google analytics, you’ve already got the means to track your social signals in place.

Why do you need to track social signals?

It’s important that you know which one of the social services that you’re using is bringing high quality, well targeted organic traffic to your website.

The popular way to track your social metrics without having a specialty – and often expensive – method to do so is to use your Google analytics tool.

Analysis of your social data can be incredibly complicated when you’re trying to do it by hand. Using something like your analytics tools from Google facilitates the process and makes it easier.

In your Google Analytics you’re going to see a social sources metric. That will allow you to identify the traffic that is coming to your site from different social sources. It will help you to determine which of your social media sites are doing the best work for you.

Take careful note of what content is the best viewed and the most often clicked and you’ll be able to reinforce that by adding more content that is related or is like-minded to keep that traffic moving out to your site.

In many cases, businesses are today aren’t able to consistently provide for the social media that they require to promote the growth of business. That’s when it pays to call in a professional. Not only can they advise you on the use of social media, but they can help you to measure how well your social media is working for you and what should or could be changed to provide for a better social media experience and improved results.

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Business-Goals-for-GrowthIf you haven’t already done so, January is a great time to decide on a list of business goals for the new year. Whether you have decided to take the leap with a new business start-up or you want to expand your existing business, planning and setting goals, with details, for exactly what you want to accomplish will help you stay accountable and on task throughout the year. Having an accountability person, coach or consultant is also a great idea.

Here are 5 ideas for new business goals for growth to help get you going

Lower Expenses

Take a reflective and realistic look at last year’s expenses for your business and analyse which ones were higher than they should have been. Whether it was on office supplies or business lunches or even printing costs, you should find ideas on how to decrease the numbers. You can consider buying office supplies in bulk or even re-evaluating the partnerships you have with vendors to see if there are opportunities there to lower expenses. Even though it may cost money to seek professional business consulting it usually pays for itself with the proper consulting.

Reach New Markets

You can determine to make this year a growth year by reviewing last year’s marketing plan and results from specific campaigns to evaluate what worked, and of course, what didn’t. For example, social media and online marketing avenues are cost effective if done properly, if not they could be a big failure. If you haven’t tried promoting your business online, it’s definitely time to start. If you have and it hasn’t worked out for you like you thought it would seek professional help. You can also make a list of your specific target audience and obtain new ways to reach them. If you can’t come up with new ways that’s what marketing companies are for.

Keep Learning

Expanding your business means you have to constantly keep up with your competitors and new market trends in your industry. You can do this by following local marketing professional’s blogs in your area and keep informed. Another great way is to attend a course or seminar. There are lots of marketing agencies that offer free learning workshops. Just be careful, some are nothing more than sales pitches. With each new skill and connection you make, you’ll find that you are adding valuable knowledge to your business that when applied will help your business grow.

Know Your Weaknesses

Lastly, acknowledge where you are strong and where you are not. When you can know where you are not strong but still need success then find someone else who can do that part for you. It has been proven over and over if we let those do what they are truly good at and not try to do what we can not do well, things will improve. Let go and acknowledge what you are not good at. Be humble if you want to grow and just pay someone else to do what you need to have done to meet your goals. Yes, that can increase expenses but it should increase profit far more than the expenses.

Work Life Balance

As a marketing agency owner myself, I know it’s easy to let your business take over your entire life. Make time for yourself, for your family and friends, and set work hours that will create an optimal work life balance. Without a doubt there will be times where you have to work 12+ hours a day but have balance. You have to prevent yourself from getting burned out if you want to continue to run a successful business and love doing what you do. Evaluate which elements of your business create the most stress, and evaluate ways to automate tasks or off load them to someone or somewhere else to create more time for you.

Whatever your business goals are for the new year, it is vital to ensure they are achievable and measurable and that you have also set a reasonable time frame. I have found that setting short term goals (30 days), quarterly goals (90 days) and yearly goals help. It is too much to measure along the way with only yearly goals. Working towards goals which are actually achievable will help keep you motivated each time you meet one to keep going and growing your business. Quantifying your business goals with specific numbers also means that you can measure your progress and give you something to strive for. You will also be able to know for sure whether or not you have met your goal. Like in marketing we analyze goals weekly and monthly to make sure we are on track with our goals and growth is happening.

 

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in3 aviation website design

Video content can help take your website to the next level. With either online video advertising or through the use of YouTube, you can generate more traffic and boost your search engine rankings. It is estimated that in the United States alone 1.2 billion online videos are watched each day, yet only 24% of all national brands use online videos as a marketing tool.

Videos boost brand awareness. When they are combined with elements that create a viral video, they can draw in interested consumers and multiply your efforts. The videos don’t have to be very long. They can be as simple as a short Vine or several minutes long if you prefer. Just make sure the content is interesting and inspires people to click and share.

Look at our clients IN3 Aviation, they incorporated video into their website as a main feature: in3aviation.com

 

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